It’s National Diabetes Week – 13th to 19th July

Diabetes. It’s a pretty scary word, with even scarier statistics. Whats the first thing that pops into your mind when you think about it? Needles, sugar, blood sugar, jelly beans, blindness, uncontrolled weight, early death? It’s all a pretty daunting concept to be faced with.

Currently we are faced with the appearance of a global epidemic of diabetes that science has linked directly to rapid increases in overweight, obesity and physical inactivity.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) report that “Total deaths from diabetes are projected to rise by more than 50% in the next 10 years. Most notably, they are projected to increase by over 80% in upper-middle income countries” wow, now that is a scary statistic.

  • Did you know that one third of all those with diabetes are totally unaware that they even have the disease?
  • Did you know that Diabetes costs $174 billion annually, including $116 billion in direct medical expenses?

Type 1 diabetes occurs when the pancreas can no longer produce the insulin that the body requires, representing 10%-15% of all cases, and is most commonly diagnosed within children. The exact cause of type 1 diabetes is not known, many studies are continuously ongoing and early research show evidence that some may simply have a genetic predisposition for it and common simple triggers (such as a virus) may then signal for the immune system to destroy certain cells withing the pancreas that are responsible for producing insulin.
Sadly, children (continuing to adulthood) diagnosed with type 1 diabetes require daily insulin injections (often required several times a day) for the rest of their lives.

Type 2 diabetes is the most common form of diabetes, representing 85-90% of all cases, and occurs when the pancreas fails to produce enough insulin and/or the insulin is not working correctly within the body.
Risk factors for type 2 diabetes include one’s family history, being overweight and their ethnic background as well as poor eating habits and one’s lack of physical activity.

How high is your diabetes risk, you ask?
This year’s National Diabetes Week campaign urges the public to take the time to visit www.checkmyrisk.org.au to keep an eye on your health and encourage all those who are important to you to do the same.

Credit to World Health Organisation (WHO) – http://www.who.int/topics/diabetes_mellitus/en/ for further reading.

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